Role Play (2024)

Role Play (2024)

R

An oddly paced action comedy with too little time to tell its story

4.5

Movie

France, Germany
English
Action, Comedy, Romance
2023
THOMAS VINCENT
Angus McGruther, Bill Nighy, Connie Nielsen
101 min

TLDR

Good first draft! Can't wait to see it when it's finished.

What it's about

Undercover assassin Anna finds her identity compromised while attempting to spice things up with her husband through role play.

The take

After a strong first act that has lots of fun playing with fake identities donned by its characters (and with a particularly entertaining supporting turn from Bill Nighy), Role Play slows down significantly and only ends up spinning its wheels. In its attempt to inject some more drama into the central relationship between Anna (who goes by Emma with her family) and Dave, the film articulates itself awkwardly, overemphasizes the obvious, and loses precious time for the plot develop in interesting ways. By the third act, Role Play practically teleports itself into entirely new circumstances, where the emotional stakes are neither high enough or clear enough to begin with.

What stands out

For all of the film's faults, the cast really tries their best to lift up the material they've been given. Kaley Cuoco plays the self-assured character type well, though she's held back by the script's lack of cohesiveness. David Oyelowo—still one of the best actors of his generation—makes the most out his underwritten character and brings a surprisingly sincere emotional center to the rest of the movie. But it really is Bill Nighy's all-too-short supporting performance that makes the strongest impression, as he brings just the slightest suggestion of a long, colorful personal history with just the way he carries himself.

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